I’m feeling very self-conscious while writing this blog post. It is only because many of you have asked me about my fitness. So, I’ll tell you what I do and why; I’m into simplicity in every form – sorry to disappoint you.
Basically, I am blessed from both sides genetically. More than that, it is the family habits that come with them. In our case, I saw a simple diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, along with meats. Everyone led active lives. All of them have been very proud to do their work themselves.
Early on, I’d read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephon R. Covey. I’ve devised my own weekly plan which starts by taking care of myself in these ways: Physical, social/emotional, spiritual, intellectual and financial. Perhaps, it is this weekly plan which has helped me the most. You can do it too here.
My health and fitness regimen:
Here are my lifestyle tips:
Comfortable shoes are the key to it all. I’ve worn joggers all my life – even when they were not ‘in’; I’ve worn these while cooking, writing, painting or shopping. Of course, going for walks, treks and picnics in these too.
After marriage, my husband encouraged me to be fit. He went for sports every evening, so either I went with him, or I went for a walk near my house with my dog. Meanwhile, I’d be active at work and at home.
My husband was very particular about not having too much oil or ghee in food. So, I’d cook healthy foods for him. He also didn’t like red meats, so these weren’t cooked as long as he was alive – almost thirty-two years of our married life – we had plenty of fruits, salads, vegetables and chicken.
My Hair and makeup:
I have my issues, but I do not worry. I do what I can, then forget about it. If needed I’ll do one treatment, then try another if needed. Otherwise, there are more important things in this world. Worrying will only make it worse. I know that given time, my body will solve most problems itself.
Oil on hair:
- My friend Samra once told me that one must apply oil to one’s hair before washing it, even if it is for ten minutes. So, I’ve done that. Using mostly mustard oil, otherwise, coconut or olive oil would do. Occasionally, it was almond or kalongi oil too.
Aloe Vera on hair:
- Lately, my friend Naila told me that using aloe vera on hair is good. Take out the glue-type liquid inside, and put it on your hair for about two hours, and then have your shower. You can put some of it on your face and neck also.
Henna, with egg and oil:
- Best thing I found as a teenager, was a tip given by Samia’s, a beauty parlor in Gulberg II, Lahore. You use henna with egg and mustard oil on hair. You put oil in henna along with a little water, heat it a bit, and leave it for an hour or so. When cooled, add an egg and mix. Then plaster it on your hair for two hours or whole night. It somehow suited my hair a lot. However, I’ve hardly ever done it lately, whenever I do, it feels good.
- Recently, my French tenant brings me dark brown henna from Aab para, Islamabad. (She is completely organic in habits.) So, I’m really blessed. However, I’ve used it sparingly, due to my busy scedule.
Beauty tips from my daughter Nadiya:
My second daughter Nadiya Najib is brilliant with herbal beauty treatments. So, she always gets ubtan and husn-e-yousaf from Saeed Ghani . So, these are present in my washroom. If I ever remember them, I use them which is very rare. Let’s say about once a month if I remember. I’ve not done it for past three months at least! You can check out more tips from her on her website here.
My daily skin-care routine:
- Petroleum jelly: I apply petroleum jelly every night before sleeping, on my face, hands and feet. ( I have dry skin.) It is something Joan Collins also recommends. If I’ve worn make-up then I’ll wash off with face wash, or with petroleum jelly with a tissue, then put on some more petroleum jelly again before sleeping.
- Daily shower: Every morning, I take a hot shower in winters and a cool one in summers.
- I love taking a soak in the tub for 30 minutes, once a month at least, adding salts in it. Then I like to put on a scrub of husn-e-yousaf or ubtan if I remember. Using other products makes me nervous as they have been on shelf for too long. Avoid them. The soak, I feel exfoliates one’s skin. It gives one an all-over clean feeling.
- I drink a lot of water; in fact, I’m sipping water all the time. Lately I’ve stopped taking water with meals. Only between meals. (I’ve learnt this from my father.) Just a few sips of water during night whenever I get up. I’ve read that kidneys aren’t working at their best during sleep, so one shouldn’t put stress on them. Anyway, you don’t want to be running to the washroom at night.
- Do not touch your face with your fingers or hands at any time! Your hands are full of germs. Specially, when you are developing a pimple or anything.
- Do not use soap on your face a splash of water is enough.
Guard sleep hours:
Since I worked all day, also wrote during late night hours, so it was vital to sleep in afternoons. You know your lifestyle best, so make sure you sleep six to eight hours straight every night. In my case, it is usually six hours at night, and two in afternoon.
Have a lifestyle which includes choosing happiness over everything else, on a daily basis. Remember it is a choice and a decision. Do read Nadiya Najib’s blog post on this topic of ‘Choosing happiness.’ You can read about my blog post on how to avoid Depression here, and the Happiness Formula here.
At home I love Yoga and Pilates by Denise Austin whenever possible. You can check out her videos. Just being active, and trying out any exercise throughout the day, feels great, when you can’t go out for exercise. Remember not to let your exercise become a drudgery. It must be fun. This is why I love walking outside in parks as it is best way to be close to nature and breathe in fresh air. You can see why I love it here. Dancing with any video is fun too. This is why I love Zumba exercises too.
You are as old as you feel.
Make the best of every minute we have! Also look up what others in the world are doing at this age. Extremely inspiring.
Do it like this:
- Do the right thing.
- Remove guilt from your life.
- Stay free of envy.
- No backbiting.
- Forgive all.
- Avoid drugs, smoking and drinking. (For God’s sake, it’s the only body we have!)
- Have a regular life: meals on time, sleep on time, most of the time.
Doing the above things will make you a free soul. Not doing it, will start killing you from inside.
Dealing with common health issues:
Here are a few that I’ve faced:
- Knee problems: You know, I had knee problems, and I’ve spoken about them here.
- Tummy issues: Then I’ve had a lot of gastroenteritis which mean diarrhea. So now I have this formula for it: take 2 tablespoons of yogurt, add 2 teaspoons of isafghol into it, and add some honey. Stir quickly and have it asap. Take this at the first symptom. Have nimkol or a lemonade with a bit of salt in it too. Repeat if necessary.
- Avoiding cold, cough and flew: Take a Kestine (anti-allergy pill) at the first symptom, then rest. You will avoid it all together.
Always choose positive activities, which bring you happiness.
Instead of counting your pimples, count your blessings!
Stay blessed. 😊